Draw up a relationship will…in case your relationship dies.

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My ex used to have this habit that annoyed me at the time but, in hindsight, I kind of understand where she was coming from. Basically, whenever we were on holiday, we would take a photo together right? Then she would ask me to take a photo of her on her own i.e. same photo we just took but without me in it. Why? “In case we split up” she would reply rather candidly.

I remember tweeting this some time back and a lot of people thought it was weird and quite pessimistic. Like I said, it annoyed me too but now I get it. I mean, I have so many awesome photos of various holidays we took together but I can’t post them anywhere because my ex is in so many of them. She on the other hand has lots of photos without me in them. She can gladly post them wherever she wants without having to answer to her new partner(s). You see, she wasn’t willing the breakup, she was just preparing for it…in case it happened…which it did.

We always prepare ourselves for possible negative outcomes in our lives. We have car insurance in case of an accident or theft of our vehicles, home insurance in case of break in’s, immunisations in case of illness, wills in case of death…why then do we not prepare for breakups? I mean, if you understand the importance of preparing a will in case of your death, why not also prepare a will for your relationship? Yes, a will in case your relationship dies.

Have you ever been to a divorce court? I have. I’ve been thrice actually, as a mere spectator I should add. It’s not a pretty sight at times. If you ever have some time to spare, go to your nearest divorce court and spectate. You will not believe some of those couples ever loved each other. And yet, I’m sure if you go back a few years in their lives, you’ll find they were madly in love; the “I can’t live without you…here take my kidney” type of love. And now it’s all court orders, visitation rights, and alimony.

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I genuinely think a ‘relationship will’ is a great idea especially whilst you are still in love and have each other’s best interests at heart. Decide now how you will handle the children, the property, the finances, etc should you ever divorce/break up. Decide how you will discuss any issues regarding the welfare of the children. Discuss how you will handle the presence of your new partners especially in respect of your children, assets, communication, etc. Once you are happy with everything, sit down with your lawyers and iron out all the nitty gritties till you and your partner are happy.

It may all seem awkward now but best believe it’s a million times easier now than when you despise each other and are going through a nasty breakup/divorce. And no, preparing for a possible breakup does not mean you are willing the breakup to happen…just like having car insurance does not mean you are willing your car to be stolen and/or damaged. You’re just preparing….just in case.

**** Just scribbling my thoughts…just in case ****

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My 5 favourite words

Picking your five favourite words is a bit like being asked to pick your favourite children…if everyone on the planet was your child. It’s a tricky task but I’m going to go ahead and sift through my bastard kids to find my Fav Five. In no particular order, here are my five favourite words…English words that is:

1. Malefactor

A malefactor is someone who does harm or commits a crime or other wrong. The reason I love this word is ’cause it was the name of my gang in high school. Yes folks, I was in a gang. The Malefactorz…we obviously added the ‘z’ at the end for effect. I should probably point out that we didn’t actually commit any crimes nor did we harm anyone for that matter. Come to think of it, we didn’t really do much of anything. Maybe ‘gang’ is a little misleading. Squad? No, that’s also a little farfetched. Argh, who am I kidding? We were a study group. Yes, sadly, ‘study group’ is much more appropriate….which if you think about it, is a gang of nerds….so, in actuality, we were a gang. Malefactorz! Study hard or go home, bitch!

2. Mishap

One time whilst giving a speech to about 500 guests at a dinner hosted by her employers to honour their high value clients, my cousin sister uttered the word ‘mishaps’ about twenty times…financial mishaps, inter-transactional mishaps, mishaps this, mishaps that. Her speech was written and delivered exquisitely. There was, however, one small blooper…she was pronouncing it “me sharp” instead of “mis-hap”. Almost twenty times! 😂 A glass of cringe anyone? No thanks waiter, we’ve about had enough cringe to last us a lifetime. ☺

3. Facetious

Shortly after I met my current partner, we were on our first date. At some point during the date she said to me “You’re quite the facetious one aren’t you?”. Being out on that first date and in full “got to make the best first impression” mode, I wasn’t about to admit I had no idea what ‘facetious’ meant. So I just responded: “Not even hey, I just wear whatever is clean in my closet.” Yes, I thought ‘facetious’ had something to do with ‘being fashionable and stylish’. What a ‘me sharp’.

4. Xylopolist

There was an old man who used to sell fire wood in Port Elizabeth. He’d ride through our neighbourhood on his bicycle towing a sort of homemade trailer with fire wood in it. On the front of his bike was a sign that read “xylopolist”. One time I decided to Google the word and was shocked to find out a Xylopolist was someone who sold wood. WTF?! The word wasn’t even on my dictionary app or my hardcopy dictionary for that matter. I had to Google it. I was like, who, where, how did this Tata (that’s Xhosa for father or old man) even come across this word? I was SO impressed. I really wanted to take a photo of him stood next to his bike but I wasn’t sure whether he’d be offended by such a request. I trust his business is still growing wherever he is…touch wood.

5. Chlorophyll

Almost all my education was undertaken in boarding schools. Back then we had no mobile phones. We wrote letters….by hand…and posted them. Snail mail, at your service. So if there was something you needed or wanted from home, you wrote a letter and asked your family to either send it or bring it with when the next visitors’ day came round. This one time, one of my class mates wrote his mum a letter asking for money. We’d just learnt about Chlorophyll in Biology. In his letter, he wrote something along the lines of “Dear Mum, …..I need money urgently as I have run out of chlorophyll.” 😂 I swear to you, that really happened. He went on to explain how urgent the chlorophyll was and how he needed it before writing his Tests. When I think about it now, it’s sad that he took advantage of his mum like that and even sadder that we all laughed about it ’cause our parents were not fortunate enough to receive the education we were receiving. But back then, as a high school kid, it was hilarious. Something we still laugh about when we get together today.

Maybe one day I’ll scribble about my five favourite words in all the other languages I speak.

*just scribbling my vocabulary thoughts*

Written for @Writersbootcmp.

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Even if you know me well, you don’t know this.

Today a mate of mine sent me a link to the twitter account @writersbootcmp. 

There’s an interesting initiative on there where you basically “Commit to write and post in 60 minutes every day during July 2014”. They provide a topic everyday and you write. So I thought to myself, I been too busy (read: lazy) to write of late so why not take on this challenge. So, without further ado, the first @writersbootcmp topic is:

Even if you know me well, you don’t know this

I figured I’d take the easy way out and just scribble a list of things you probably don’t know about me…even if you know me well…Hi Mom…wife…Jesus. Eeek.

* Please note, I’ve conferred with my lawyer (my cousin who’s repeating 1st year Law…via distance learning) and he has (un)reliably informed me that I can not be prosecuted for any of the following confessions:

1. I sometimes call 10111…that’s 911 for our American friends (and also the avid moviegoers among us) just to tell them a joke to brighten up their day.

2. Every time I cross a border by land, I’m so tempted to do it illegally even though I have the necessary documentation. Just to see if I can get away with it.

3. I sometimes recycle gifts. In fact, I once gave someone a Valentine’s day gift that I’d got from someone else….earlier that day.

4. When I was younger (two weeks ago), I thought Costa Rica was a city in the USA. But when I got older (a week later), I realised I may have been confusing it with Puerto Rico.

5. Just realised Puerto Rico is also not a city in the USA.

6. My favourite TV show is Air Crash Investigation. I always get so excited when a new season is announced…then I realise it means more plane crashes. Oops. And when I fly, I sometimes wish the plane crashes and I survive just so I can be on an episode of Air Crash Investigation…how morbid.

7. Everytime someone says “soccer”, I want to take a megaphone to their ear and scream “IT’S FOOTBALL, YOU PANSY!!!”…and that time, I don’t even know what a pansy is. Probably someone who says “soccer” instead of “football”.

8. Sometimes when a white person asks me my name, I make up the weirdest word just to see their facial expressions.  “Yes Dave, that’s Qhexheqabe…with a silent X.”

9. I’ve always wanted to jump into a cab and shout “follow that car”. A few months ago, I did. It was a bit of an anticlimax coz the driver just said “why?” in the dullest, most non-action movie voice you can imagine.

10. Even if you know me well, you dont know this: The Theory of Quantum Entanglement. Or maybe you do know the QE theory…in which case, move along nerd, there’s nothing to see here. ☺

* just scribbling stuff you didn’t know about me*

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A great response to the “homosexuality is an abomination to God” argument

Dr. Laura Schlessinger is a radio personality who dispenses advice to people who call in to her radio show. Recently, she said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22 and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following is an open letter to Dr. Laura penned by an east coast resident, which was posted on the Internet. It’s funny, as well as informative:

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the other specific laws and how to follow them:

When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord – Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness – Lev.15:19- 24. The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?

I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination – Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this?

Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? – Lev.24:10-16. Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.

Your devoted fan,
Jim

Women: Prey for Life #StopRape

#StopRape

I just heard some horrible news. A 69 year old woman in the Eastern Cape was raped, stabbed, & left for dead in front of her 7 year old granddaughter. What’s worse (if that’s even possible) is that she knew her predators; she knew them so well she let them into her home. They were just some teenage boys she taught in primary school.

In a matter of minutes, three women’s lives were destroyed:

  • A 7 year old; bright, energetic, with her whole life ahead of her, witnessed a horror that no one, let alone a child, should ever have to witness.

 

  • A 69 year old; wise, kind, with a desire only to share what little she had, experienced an invasive trauma that no one, let alone a women in her twilight years, should ever have to experience.

 

  • A 35 year old; ambitious, hardworking, single mother of the little 7 year old and only child of the 69 year old. She must AGAIN endure the agony of rape; an agony that no one should ever have to experience, let alone twice.

 

You see, this isn’t the first time rape has reared its ugly head in her life. She had just completed her Master’s degree and was working her way up the ranks at a reputable company when one day she was raped. Her world collapsed at that very point. She would later find out she was pregnant by her predator. 7 years later, her & her mother must relive this pain. Why? Why them?

It’s easy to think you’re reading some Stephen King-eque horror novel. But you’re not. This is real life. These women are real. Their pain is real. Their trauma is real.

Our church leaders, political leaders, community leaders, the so called heads of our houses are men. Men who read these tragic stories of rape and tell us we must pray for life. How? When it is because of us men that our women are prey for life.

There’s no point tip toeing around the issue. Men are the scourge of our society. My father, my son, and I…we are the cornerstone of this rape culture. We laid the foundation of what is fast becoming a sickening norm; an everyday bastion for our inferiority complexes.

Today I’m not *just scribbling my thoughts*, I’m scribbling my pain, my anger, my shame, and my pure disgust. That marches, campaigns, & protests against rape have to be principally organised & attended by women, the very victims of this plague, whilst us men watch, is sad beyond belief. The only thing more agonising than this rape epidemic is men’s deafening silence towards it. We all began our lives in the womb of a woman. Now in her time of need, is silence all we have offer her?

 

 

Help your helper. Pay her what she’s worth!

Twice every week I come home to a beautifully cleaned house. Sometimes I don’t even see the person responsible for this state of cleanliness that makes it so nice for me to fall onto the couch, put my feet up, and end the day on a cosy…and rather hygienic note. But the person responsible for all this is Thandi, a 29 year old mother of two from a township not too far from here. She’s “my helper”.

For my British friends, I should probably let you know; in Africa, we have maids. Yes, it’s very common for the bustling middle class that’s growing daily in this part of the world. In fact, we have people filling our cars at the fuel stations too. No need to leave your car in the cold and rain, put on those plastic gloves, and refuel yourself. In fact, we have no cold either. Who’s royalty now? 😉

But lavish as this all sounds, it’s actually rather deplorable. Such menial jobs exist because of the broad gap between the haves and the have-nots of this continent. The gap is very wide and continues to widen rapidly. This brings us to the issue I wish to scribble about today i.e. the labour abuses taking place in our very homes.

The other day as I was paying Thandi, I asked myself: how does she survive on this money? I pay her R100 for each day she works. That’s £7.01 (US$11.18) for each day she works. To put this in perspective, the UK National Minimum Wage rate for someone of Thandi’s age is £6.19 (US$9.87) per hour. That’s R88.31 PER HOUR. So essentially, I pay Thandi per day what she’d earn per hour in the UK. No wonder Brits don’t widely have maids. Who’d be able to afford £50 a day for a house help.

I have since increased Thandi’s wage but it’s still a pittance, one that should be reviewed on a global scale I’m sure. Being a house help is an incredibly difficult job and I’m ashamed to say we are taking advantage of these women. And what’s worse, many of them are single mothers. How are their children supposed to have the same chances in life as our children on R100 a day? Add to that the fact it’s difficult to obtain daily work.

There’s no doubt that, if we paid our domestic workers what they are really worth, most of us would either be cleaning up after ourselves or living in filth. *Just scribbling my thoughts*

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